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New Platter's South African Wines 2011 available

Platter's South African Wines 2011, the South African wine guide, is a new "green" issue containing news, reviews and ratings of more than 800 producers and brands, including 58 newcomers, and more than 6000 local wines.
New Platter's South African Wines 2011 available
Available now in hard copy, and soon as a downloadable app for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as online at, Platter's South African Wines 2011 also packs information on where to go and what to do in wine country. Dining, accommodation and tasting options are covered in detail, along with many and diverse winery amenities, attractions and activities. GPS co-ordinates, easy-to-use maps and quick look-up tables provide aides for visitors planning their own winelands rambles, while for those in search of a guided experience, listings of specialised wine-tour operators offer a variety of alternatives.

Fully updated notes on the major wine-growing regions, grape varieties, wine-making styles, wine-tasting terms, and the major wine competitions and awards, as well as listings of fine-wine stockists and wine education providers country-wide, round out the Platter's offering.

Sustainability a major focus

A major focus of this edition is sustainability, with the eco-minded cover colour ("budbreak" green), the foreword (by Inge Kotzé, project co-ordinator of WWF's ground-breaking Biodiversity & Wine Initiative), the full-colour photo gallery and many of the entries in the A-Z Directory reflecting the sustainability theme. Also showcased are instances where organisations and individuals are not only restoring and protecting the natural environment and promoting biodiversity, but also looking after the equally important social and business aspects of their wine enterprise.

Philip van Zyl, editor of Platter’s Wine Guide.
Philip van Zyl, editor of Platter’s Wine Guide.
A highlight of any new edition is the five-star line-up - the exceptional bottlings that emerge from a second round of tasting with the judging team's highest rating on the Platter's scale of 0 to 5 stars. This edition, a record 58 wines made the five-star cut, including 10 by established producers with no previous five-star awards, namely: Delaire Graff Estate, Hermanuspietersfontein, Julien Schaal, Lammershoek Winery, Reyneke Wines, Shannon Vineyards, StellenRust, Strandveld Wines, Topiary Wines, and Zevenwacht, and one newcomer to the guide, Botanica Wines.

Platter's Wines of The Year

Of the five-star awarded wines, the red and white that receive the most votes from the judging panel are named Platter's Wines Of The Year. This time, the Red Wine Of The Year is De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described as "pure hedonism" and promising outstanding development over the next decade, whilst the White Wine Of The Year is Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from mainly chenin blanc and noted as "arresting", with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity.

In an ongoing focus on highlighting value for money, Platter's tasters identify a number of entry-level wines that are exceptionally drinkable and well priced. The best of these, like the five-star candidates, go into a second round of "blind" tasting to select the Superquaffer of the Year. After three years of chenin blancs heading the list of ultra-easy sippers, this time it's chenin in combination with sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Made by Nederburg Wines, off-dry Lyric 2010 is noted as a "celebration of fruit" and a delightful demonstration of how well the three varieties can work together.

Buy Now, Drink Later

The names of the other dozen top quaffers appear in the new guide under the heading "Wines of the Year", along with the 58 five stars, 92 Highly Recommended wines (which missed five stars but are nonetheless extremely fine and collectible in their own right), and a similar number of reds, whites and fortifieds showing particular potential for cellaring. These age-worthy wines appear under the banner "Buy Now, Drink Later".

Platter's Winery of the Year award is the editor's personal selection, after considering a variety of criteria, the aim being to showcase a producer that epitomises the best of South African wine-growing today.

"This edition the decision pretty much made itself," said editor Philip van Zyl, "as one winery stood head and shoulders above the rest. Already one of the most frequent five-star recipients in the guide's 31-year history, with 18 top ratings over 11 editions, it achieved another milestone this time by accumulating a record five, five-star accolades, plus the award for Superquaffer of the Year. We therefore had no hesitation naming Nederburg Wines our 2011 Winery of the Year. Congratulations to cellarmaster Razvan Macici and his team on a remarkable achievement."

Platter's South African Wines 2011 hard copy is available now from selected retailers country-wide retailing at R159.99, and can be ordered online from ( and SA Wines Online ( The iPhone App version, in conjunction with Wine-Oh!, will become available for download from in the next few weeks. The web-based version will go live at its new location,, soon thereafter.

• Published by: John Platter SA Wineguide (Pty) Ltd
• Publisher: Andrew McDowall (
• Editor: Philip van Zyl (
• Pages: 604
• ISBN: 978-0-95-845069-0
• Suggested retail price: R159.95
• Tasters for 2010: Michael Fridjhon, Angela Lloyd; Master of Wine Cathy van Zyl; Cape Wine Masters Winnie Bowman, Greg de Bruyn, Tim James, Christine Rudman, Meryl Weaver; David Biggs, Miguel Chan, Christian Eedes, Higgo Jacobs, Fiona McDonald, Ingrid Motteux, Khuselo Mputa, Jörg Pfützner, James Pietersen & Dave Swingler.
• Website:

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